Maroonage in Haiti: The Haitian Perspective._ Prospere Charles, Ph.D.
Maroonage is a way of life that is as mysterious and misunderstood in today's society as it was in the 1500's. In Ayiti, contrary to popular belief, historical evidence suggests that Maroonage did not initially start with Black Africans, although the enslaved people from Africa ultimately perfected it. Bartolome de Las Casas, a Spanish Priest who saw first-hand and wrote extensively about the indigenous people in the Caribbean, reported that the natives, called the Tainos for some or the Arawaks for others when faced with forced labors, cruel and inhuman treatments from the settlers, would have started timidly the maroonage movement. In the Short Account of The Destruction of the Indies, Las Casas wrote:
"It was upon these gentle lambs, imbued by the Creator with all the qualities we have mentioned, that from the very first day they clapped eyes on them the Spanish fell like ravening wolves upon the fold, or like tigers and savage lions who have not eaten meat for days. The pattern established at the outset has remained unchanged to this day, and the Spaniards still do nothing save tear the natives to shreds, murder them and inflict upon them untold misery, suffering and distress, tormenting, harrying and persecuting them mercilessly…"
"These simple creatures" he continued, "in whom one can't find neither malice nor deception but love and reverence for the settlers, would run away to hide their pains and sufferings" (Las Casas, 1552).
Runaway was, in fact, the last option for the Tainos. As earlier as 1495, exactly three years after the Colons would have arrived, the Tainos would challenge them to an open battle in La Vega Real, a vast plain area believed to have extended from the Dominican Republic to Ayiti (see map below). This challenge was in direct response to the inhuman exploitation and cruelty decried by Las Casas. There are conflicting accounts as to what....Read more
This study aims to inform the debate regarding transparency and accountability in Haiti’s public institutions. The research focuses exclusively on the perceptions of local Haitians and how they believe that Haiti’s development can be impacted by more or less transparency and accountability in its public affairs. Drawing on the findings from a prior study, a modified interview questionnaire, and other recent documentation, this article demonstrates that local Haitians want greater transparency and accountability measures; however, they have a negative perception about the ability and willingness of the local government to enforce these measures. In one case, for instance, results show that general perceptions are getting worse due to a lack of confidence in Haiti’s leaders. In another case, results show that the current administration may benefit from a slightly higher degree of confidence than the Martelly-Lamothe’s administration. By and large, the findings expose the complexity of implementing these practices in Haiti’s institutions while revealing some sort of hesitation about how to move ahead.
Working Research Paper: The Diaspora Barometer._Prospere Charles, Ph.D.; January 20, 2017
As Haiti finally elected a constitutional government after more than a year of electoral turmoil, the focus now must be redirected toward alleviating poverty in the country. The World Bank estimates that extreme poverty in Haiti affects nearly one fourth of the population, with 2.5 million people living on US $1.23 a day. More than 6 million people, or 59% of the population, live on less than US $2 a day. Putting these numbers into a regional context, Haiti’s closest neighbor, the Dominican Republic (DR), has an overall poverty rate of about 30%, i.e. half of Haiti’s poverty rate, and the average poverty level for the whole Caribbean region is about 25%, a decline from a high of over 40% just few years ago....Read more